There is no plan

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, September 7th, 2014 - 69 comments
Categories: bill english, david parker, Economy, tv - Tags:

So on The Nation yesterday David Parker and Bill English squared off.

Repeatedly asked what changes he would make in the next 3 years, Bill English couldn’t come up with one new idea.

Nada. Nil. Zip.

David Parker had heaps to say, but the plan under National?

There is no plan.

69 comments on “There is no plan”

  1. CnrJoe 1

    why plan when you can govern by selfie? You can govern from Hawaii too. I don’t know what I’m saying anymore, Bill? I hear your pain.

      • Kiwiri 1.1.1

        National’s “no” plan.
        Our pain.

      • David H 1.1.2

        @CnrJoe So according to Vernon Small, Hack extrodinaire from stuff. Labour is going to lose because Cunliffe wears the wrong coloured scarf, and don’t have as many ‘selfies’ taken. Well we are well and truly fucked as a country if these are the things that people think are important, and help to inform them, as to who to vote for. Then God help us all.

        • disturbed 1.1.2.1

          Shows how scarred the NatZ are clutching at straws eh!

          Bill English is on course to increase our debt by another 30 Billion in borrowed overseas money how dumb is that!

          We await more MSM and NatZ trolls as we go for the big boom day when all their polls melt away to a cliff hanger with Winston sitting as King maker.

  2. geoff 2

    But all it takes is for John Key to say that the left have no policies, or their policies suck and then suddenly it’s reported it as fact. But that’s only cos JK is impartial, I mean he even says ‘I’m not a political commentator’

    • Saarbo 2.1

      and Gower has replicated Armstrong’s attack from yesterday in the HoS…wont bother linking. If you read Armstrong yesterday then don’t waste your time. But Labour were never going to have a fair run to this election, not given the impact CGT will have on NZ’s useless wealthy voters…a group who have taken advantage of debt fuelled asset inflation to increase their wealth.

      • geoff 2.1.1

        Yep I agree, don’t link to the arseholes. The likes of that prick Armstrong probably justify their existence to their editors by the number of infuriated readers who condemn them in the comments under their articles.
        The right have more discipline than the left in that respect, they’ve shown in the past they can ignore issues so they don’t get oxygen.

  3. Ad 3

    You can’t lead a country without a plan.

    Fire this lot.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Strictly speaking, English said the plan was to keep on going on, because why change what was working.

      (I see Wayne below has made this point)

  4. Neoleftie 4

    Oh the nasty nats have plan…continue the ideology but don’t tell anyone about it, change by stealth soas not to alarm or awaken the sheeple masses.
    Sell short sell cheap just let the larket do its thing and or interfere so the market can dictate everything.
    This is the plan, devolve democracy and our hard own freedom so the few well connected and resourced few can gain more and more while we become simple dumbed down slaves given a few crumbs now and then to keep us content.
    We on the left know this.
    We on the left can see the coming construct outcome.
    We need to empower reconnect and reenergise the marginalised masses now.

    • cogito 4.1

      Agreed.

      But if the sheeple masses can’t even see filth when it is put right under their noses in black and white and exposed on tv, then what hope do we have?

      Cunliffe was right when he said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Unfortunately Kiwis appear to prefer darkness to light, and to be fooled by a LIAR.

      Key has to go. NZ needs to rediscover its soul.

      • Tom Jackson 4.1.1

        But if the sheeple masses can’t even see filth when it is put right under their noses in black and white and exposed on tv, then what hope do we have?

        Well, the obvious conclusion would be that the present system for selecting a government is not fit for purpose. But nobody wants to say that…

  5. Wayne 5

    Actually he said his plan was to continue what they were already doing.

    It is true that he did not have a range of flash new initiatives. I think for Bill, with his innate southern conservatism, he would say why change what you are doing when it is already been shown to work.

    I appreciate that the commenters on this site won’t buy that, but that is his plan. Keep doing all the things he is currently doing.

    • dv 5.1

      ‘Actually he said his plan was to continue what they were already doing.

      Yep Current debt now

      NZ$ 86,868,722,476

      So another 30 billion in 3 years Wayne

      • Wayne 5.1.1

        DV,
        Well, if that Nationals plan, it is also Labours. Both parties are projecting surpluses, and both say their forecast expenditure is covered by their tax take.

        If the economy collapses (and fundamentally neither party really controls that) and there is need for large borrowing, no matter who wins will be in that trap.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1

          The difference is that Labour aren’t going to prison.

        • dv 5.1.1.2

          Wayne what is the difference between tax increases and tax cuts?

          • Wayne 5.1.1.2.1

            DV,

            Assuming this is your question. In the first three years, as between Labour and National, I understand the difference between the tax take of the two alternative govts would be around $3 to $4 billion by year three (2017/2018), maybe a bit more than that. It is around 2% of GDP or around 6 to 8% of govt expenditure.

            But to be honest I have not exhaustively gone through the two alternative budgets. If I was a candidate I would have, but since I am not, I am content to rely on the newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, goggle and my general knowledge for the information.

            Labour has tax increases, National has modest tax reductions. Labour will spend more and therefore get more. National will spend less than Labour, continuing on their current track of around 30% of GDP as govt expenditure.

            With local bodies added, total govt expenditure is around 35% of GDP. The Nats believe in keeping the total size of the state at less than 35% of the economy. And that has been their consistent view for the last 30 years, since the economic transformation of the mid 1980’s. But I know many here characterize that as the “failed neo-liberal experiment”. Not my view however.

            Both parties have been completely upfront about their respective paths in this area. It is one of the reasons why the debate between Bill English and David Parker was notable for its restrained tone. Both of them trust the Treasury figures they use the develop their policies.

            If voters are interested enough to actually analyze the fiscal (and economic) differences between the two main parties, it is not hard to find out.

            Voters get to choose on this and the many other things they incorporate into their voting decision.

            • Kevin Welsh 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Why is it every time I hear the words ‘economic transformation’ I wonder who is going to get shafted next…

              • Tracey

                You dont have to wonder, we know who.

                John key is going to have a lolly scramble tomorrow but it wont be called that.

                Milk price has halved since feb and the rebuild wil slow down soon.

                So, more of the same is dependant on higher milk prices than are trending and more economic input into chchch than we have had.

                So, Wayne, logically how can they do the same?

            • David H 5.1.1.2.1.2

              You forgot something Wayne Just a little matter Labours policies have been on their website for months, all costed and paid for. They even adjusted for the PREFU which was even worse than expected. It seems that the NATS might release their costings next week 10 days out from an election. But it shouldn’t be too hard. Only enough for even more Tax cuts for our rich friends.

              • Tracey

                Labour would not have reduced tax for the highest earners and probably would have given tax cuts to those who would put it back into the economy… Apparently insignificant difference…

              • Wayne

                David

                National’s plan is essentially Budget 2014, with some add ons announced during the campaign.

                Bill English was clear that tax cuts would be for low and middle earners. However even changing the bottom tax rates and thresholds actually benefits all taxpayers.

                • tricledrown

                  Wayne Kerr The same plan as the 1990’s!
                  Tax cuts 6 months from the next elections!
                  The Slow striptease!

                • karol

                  So an election bribe for voters most likely to vote left.

                • framu

                  “Bill English was clear that tax cuts would be for low and middle earners. However even changing the bottom tax rates and thresholds actually benefits all taxpayers.”

                  so bill is talking shit isnt he wayne

                  you did just confirm that

            • Jan Rivers 5.1.1.2.1.3

              I think you are wrong about the continuing track of around 30% of GDP because the Finance Minister is on record as intending to bring the rate of spending to 26% over two terms as was reported at the National Party Southern region conference earlier this year and hinted at but not made explicit in the Budget speech. (David Parker quoted these figures this morning and the Minister did not contradict him)

              This rate of expenditure starts to bring New Zealand into the same territory as many developing countries and well below other OECD countries. It would imply that we are moving into a new realm of public squalor and continuing cuts in the quality of public services.

              I envisage that a re-elected National Government is planning to do this by using Social Impact Bonds and thereby further reducing the role of the public sector and devolving it to the markets.
              I see that NSW has just implemented its first.
              http://www.smh.com.au/business/nsw-social-impact-bond-returns-75-per-cent-20140831-10ajsa.html

              Social impact bonds allow private investors to provide working capital to social programmes in return for lowering the level of a social ill and share in the savings when the government reduces its social costs. It is a rather neat and bloodless way of ensuring that the rules of the market overwhelm our social infrastucture and services.

              Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/nsw-social-impact-bond-returns-75-per-cent-20140831-10ajsa.html#ixzz3CceKyN8J

              There is a decent article about these odious schemes on wikipedia
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_impact_bond

              Perhaps this is the mysterious cusp of great things that we are approaching that seems to be in National candidates’ speaking notes.

        • blue leopard 5.1.1.3

          In response to DV’s comment on the debt that National have accumulated, Wayne said: “Well, if that Nationals plan, it is also Labours.”

          Parker stated very clearly Labour’s plan is to pay back the debt (over two terms, if my memory serves me correctly).

          This is quite different from National’s non-plan, which according to Wayne, is to carry on as they have been i.e. not addressing the issue of wealth disparity and accumulating the serious consequences of ignoring that and also accumulating debt.

          • dv 5.1.1.3.1

            Thankx BL and Wayne
            One of the problems the Nats have is they said in 2008, that GST was not to be increased.
            I wonder what they are not telling us this time.

            • blue leopard 5.1.1.3.1.1

              Thanks for your first comment!

              It continues to astonish me how willing the rightwing are prepared to misinform people.

              They have a shocking lack of ethics.

            • David H 5.1.1.3.1.2

              @Dv that they will give tax cuts to the poor. But it will only be $4.66 a week. Wow.

            • Liberal Realist 5.1.1.3.1.3

              @DV

              They’re not telling us anything at all, purposefully.

              If National win (steal?) a third term the gloves will come off and New Zealander’s will wonder what the hell they’ve elected.

              Prediction:

              *Wholesale (firesale) privatization of ACC, Kiwibank, Education & Healthcare.
              *Further erosion of employment relations legislation to the detriment of employees. Think ‘hire & fire at will’, zero job security law for all.
              *Complete privatization of (PSOE) energy generators.
              *Complete privatization of Air NZ.
              *Tax cuts for those earning over 100k.
              *More borrowing possibly taking NZs debt to GDP ratio over 100% over 3 years.
              *Signoff of the TPPA (If Obomber can get it through congress).

              And I could go on and on… All bad, worse for some than others. Of course we’ll see more criminal abuse of state power to smear opponents, which will become BAU in the eyes of Tory politicians.

        • miravox 5.1.1.4

          Labour has a plan to meet an objective of making surplus.

          National has an aspiration to make a surplus by continuing do the same things they’ve been doing but expecting a different result.

          Bill English is not making sense.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      Does that include washing all John Key’s filth off?

      • Brendon Harre 5.2.1

        You guys might be interested in the comment thread here, it seems of relevance to the issues you are talking about here.

        http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/71799/bernards-top-10-nzs-new-cash-sniffing-devices-those-amazing-dutch-farmers-chinas-new-s#comment-788249

        Below is the end of the comment thread.

        “Like it or not John Key and his Ministers will face trial in the Court of Public Opinion. There will be an election in two weeks and every 3 years after that. I not only condone it I am incredibly thankful for the fact we live in a democracy.

        Given our constitutional arrangements whereby the accused (John Key and his Government Ministers) get to decide what they are charged with and who will trial them then I am very doubtful that our ‘Courts’ can do justice by this issue.

        Labour is probably being damaged as much as National with the media attention on dirty politics. Especially because they need media time to explain there new policies, such as KiwiBuild, Kiwisaver/Reserve Bank changes and so on. Given how a lot of the media can’t discuss anything longer than a 30 second sound bite these issues are difficult for them to address.

        I see that you deny that a faction of the National party has been engaging in a style of politics of ‘giving back double’, ‘attack politics’ or ‘Dirty Politics’. That this approach is a deliberate campaign strategy promoted by the political consultants such as Simon Lusk.

        Simon Lusk openly acknowledged this negative dumbing down style of engaging with the public lowers voter turnout, drives out centerist politicians and polarises the political discourse. The ‘right’ wins due to their supporters being more likely to vote in low voter turnout elections. As a country we all lose because the issues we should be debating are ignored by the dumbing down process.

        There are many on the right who disagree with this approach, including Bill English. I suspect many honourable people here on Interest.co.nz whose natural inclination is to the right find it distasteful being associated with this strategy (even if indirectly).

        As to whether I am a small cog in a propaganda machine. I am probably left of centre in my political inclination. I am not connected to any political party. Many here know that I have an interest in affordable housing, infrastructure, decentralisation and pluralistic constitutional arrangements. I promote these viewpoints as is my right as a private citizen.

        I don’t think I am smelly.”

        • Kevin Welsh 5.2.1.1

          “Like it or not John Key and his Ministers will face trial in the Court of Public Opinion. There will be an election in two weeks and every 3 years after that. I not only condone it I am incredibly thankful for the fact we live in a democracy.”

          Do we live in a democracy Brendan?

          After what has happened in the last four weeks, I have my doubts. From bloggers being feed sensitive information to discredit political rivals and public servants who don’t drink the kool-aid, character assassination, a MSM whose only concern is ratings so the more outlandish and sensational the story the better, all aided and abetted from the highest office in the land.

          If the right win this election then we are fucked for a very long time. If they get away with it this time, God only knows what tactics will be used in the future. All of them safe in the knowledge that money and power will conquer all.

          • KJT 5.2.1.1.1

            We live in a rotating dictatorship which we are graciously allowed to shuffle every 3 years.
            Nothing made that more apparent than Rogernomics, which nobody in their right mind would have voted for if they knew the truth.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1.1

              +1111

              Nothing made that more apparent than Rogernomics, which nobody in their right mind would have voted for if they knew the truth.

              And everyone said at the time that they didn’t vote for it and didn’t want it so could the government please stop doing it. The government didn’t which led to National’s landslide victory in 1990 because they kinda hinted that they would roll things back. Instead they went harder than Labour.

              At no point have we actually had the chance to change the policies that the government ram down our throats.

              • Wayne

                Except that Labour largely won on the basis of Rogernomics in 1987.

                • KJT

                  Yeah, Right.

                  Most of us hoped they would come to their senses, and memories of the previous National fuck up were still fresh.

                  National then got in by intimating they would reverse Rogernomics.

                  And the fact that with our rotating dictatorship “the only way to get rid of one lot you don’t like is to vote in the lot you didn’t like last time”. (Quote: No Right Turn).

                • Draco T Bastard

                  No, they got voted in as better than National and their Nuclear Free policy. People were seriously against Rogernomics.

                  The big problem with our electoral system, then and now, is that it doesn’t allow the people to choose the policies. We only get to choose the parties and they come with policies that we don’t want. The same was true of the 2011 election. The people didn’t want to sell our assets but National sold them anyway.

          • Brendon Harre 5.2.1.1.2

            Kevin we live in a degraded democracy. The point I would like to make is that for the left and centre to revive itself then we need to campaign on constitutional reform. (NB. I would put independents like me somewhere in the centre left area)

            We need a check on the executive, in particular their power of patronage. It is this that allows the negative framing of the left and centre. This is what poisons the ‘kool aid’.

            Imagine for minute if the Speaker was constitutionally elected by unanimous vote in Parliament (closed doors no recess until decided). Then the Speaker appointed the head of a BBC style independent state media. The Speaker could also appoint other important State Servants. GCSB, Commerce Commission, Supreme Court Judges and so on.

            Suddenly the way to get ahead in the public service is to service the public not the PM. To speak out honestly.

            Brown noses out. Public minded officials in.

            You get the picture.

            If the centre and left want high quality public services then we need constitutional reform to get a cultural change within our public service, media and political discourse.

    • tc 5.3

      Agreed you dont need a plan when you have no intention of addressing poverty, the wealth gap, making nz a fairer society, expanding our economy outside the soon to end sugar rush of milk related commodities etc

      business as usual for the tories, corporate welfare, cronyism, corruption is working fine especially with the MSM in your corner so yes wayne why change indeed a very fair point.

    • tricledrown 5.4

      Wayne that was Milk powder exports which is over lots of dairy farmers going bust in the next 3 years!
      Natural disaster rebuild that’s peaked!
      borrow $60billion of some other countries printed money at high interest rates!

    • I guess “cross your fingers and pray dairy prices stay high” is a plan, technically. It’s just a really, really silly one.

      • Tracey 5.5.1

        Especially when prices have halved since Feb. Maybe Bill knows of another earthquake cos he needs that and high milk prices “to do what he has been doing”

    • Blue 5.6

      I appreciate that the commenters on this site won’t buy that, but that is his plan. Keep doing all the things he is currently doing.

      So, you’re saying that National is not going to introduce any new legislation in the House after the election? They are going to spend the next three years just passing stuff that’s already been introduced and after that’s all finished they’ll just sit on their backsides and say ‘we’re done now’?

      Bullshit. You’ve been in politics long enough to know how many bills get passed in a year. National have three years to fill up. They are not going to spend them doing nothing. So they need to tell the people of New Zealand what they are going to do BEFORE THE ELECTION.

    • Tracey 5.7

      Organise another earthquake and double the milk solid price? Still needs a plan for that.

  6. Zolan 6

    The appeal to viewers is telling:
    “… the Opposition … believe that New Zealanders have got it all wrong … We think they’ve got it right.”

    (Long-standing bugbear of mine, originally from reporters unwilling to own their questions, but still common.)

    Not just a lack of (publicly acceptable) ideas, but a surplus of defective communication. Their priority is how to speak, not what to say.

    As for the plan being to continue as before, there is no doubt truth enough it that for English to be comfortable saying, but it seems unlikely that nothing else is in the works behind the scenes.

  7. riffer 7

    I’m absolutely bloody certain there is a plan. They’re not going to tell us what it is though, because that would be political suicide.

  8. infused 8

    Was good

  9. lurgee 9

    Probably, Bill was thinking, “My plan is to be National Party leader again, in 6 or 12 months.”

    But he couldn’t really say that.

  10. kenny 10

    Do you trust John Key?

    I don’t.

    Do you trust National?

    I don’t

  11. Sable 11

    Of course there is no plan. National are awaiting orders from their US masters….

  12. dave 12

    nobody wants to talk about total debt approaching 500 billion thats a scary number
    i will be voteing labour armstrong and polls can go to hell there just talking heads
    for nationals lies and spin but most of us in here weather labour or green are usually well informed not public ! thats the problem

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    David Parker, who is hardly aggressive, had Bill on the ropes. It’s hard to come out fighting on a record of unrelenting failure, for a tax cut that you argued against in caucus because it was too irresponsible even for you. Bill looked like a martyr.

  14. peterh 14

    DAVID 10 BILL still waiting

  15. Skinny 15

    They have a plan alright just don’t want to share it. Why won’t they it would only put off swing voters. All this positive campaigning by Labour is a bit costly. Not enough fear factor of a third term National Government has come out. And don’t kid yourself if you think there isn’t much move havoc they can cause us.

  16. Tel 16

    National have no plan to do anything, which is a stock answer to avoiding breaking a commitment with a firm yes or no. The same answer applies to sale of state assets “we have no plan to sell etc ” Key is on record to have been talking to AirNZ chief executive Christopher Luxon about regional fares. Anyone want to bet that conversation was to raise the prices, not lower them. 3 years of profit growth followed up with a 4th year of profit growth along with share holder special dividends as happened this year will set the stage nicely for the airline to be sold off in 2015-16.

  17. small thing 17

    Yes be positive National has no plan because we are taking the wrong person Key has always been the real minister of finance Bill is just their to remind us of Naional before Key
    Keys movements around the world in his capacity as PM also signal movements in our financial status none of the other ministers have the capacity to do this and none of us are really aware of it because of Keys ability to keep us ignorant of the reality like what TTPA IS ALREADY DOING TO OUR ECONOMY and it hasnt even been signed yet .
    For the real babyboomer generation ie 1940to 1960 we are seeing what we already knew was going to happen and that is a final shift in power to the 60’S 80’S GENERATION whicn Key believes gives him the seniority that he deserves , thats why we should get behind our Dave before we have another Muldoon entrenched in govt untill we are so sick of the absolute boring process of having our lives everyday focused on money because lets face it Key has never onced talked about anything else in this world

  18. KJT 18

    National does have a plan,

    They know perfectly well that, if they were honest about it, they would never get elected.
    Hence the need for propaganda, buying media, smear campaigns, personality politics, burying statistics and silencing opponents.

    (Drop wages, cut services, sell infrastructure, gift more money to financial speculation, increase immigration to keep property speculators profits up and wages low, make more people live in third world poverty, destroy anything which can make us prosperous in future, for short term bubbles, give away our sovereignty to US corporates).

    “Boil the frog slowly”.

    Burgle a country a piece at a time.

    They have waited patiently for 9 years to have another round of thefts.

  19. Lots of policy does not mean it is good policy, Bill English would argue as does national that we are on the right course set over the last 6 years and there is not a need for a radical shift in direction. The opposition argue differently which you would expect. The people will eventually decide. The polls suggests nationals view of the world reflects reality and has more purchase with the general public from economics though to dirty politics. Until labour starts looking inwards to understand why the can’t bring the people with them they are doomed to opposition or even to be supplanted by the greens

    • KJT 19.1

      The whole point is National are keeping ahead with dirty tricks and being “economical with the truth” about the disastrous effects of their policies.

      Relying on entirely fortuitous hospital pass, temporary stimulus, from unusually high dairy receipts and the Christchurch earthquake. Even Bill English knows that is nothing that they have done.

      I know several formerly National voting business people and, I suspect, some of the MP’s who have left, who can not square their consciences with the blatant manipulation and cynicism of this Government.

      Like Richardson’s Government, and Douglas’s in 87, without those two things National would have had us in recession.

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